Half Prayer Twist

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Half Prayer Twist Mean?

Half prayer twist is an intermediate twisting asana that realigns the spine and opens the chest and hips.

In this pose, the yogi begins in a low lunge and brings the palms together in prayer position at the heart center with the elbows pointing outward. The torso twists toward the lead leg, placing the opposite upper arm on the thigh while holding prayer position. The gaze is kept straight ahead or upward toward the sky.

Half prayer twist is also known by its Sanskrit name, ardha namaskar parsvakonasana.

Half Prayer Twist


Yogapedia Explains Half Prayer Twist

From a spiritual and mental standpoint, half prayer twist provides confidence, improves concentration, reduces stress, calms the mind, and dispels fear and insecurity.

Half prayer twist is also believed to provide the following physical benefits:

  • Increases stamina
  • Lengthens and strengthens the spine
  • Tones the back, legs, hips and arms
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles
  • Strengthens the core muscles

To modify this pose, the gaze may be kept forward or down to avoid twisting the neck. For the full version of prayer twist, the toes of the back foot curl under and the knee is lifted off the ground as the back leg straightens.

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